Golden Kamuy: Volume 13 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
January 31, 2020 - 13:14

Viz Media
Writer(s): Satoru Noda, John Werry
Artist(s): Satoru Noda
Letterer(s): Steve Dutro
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0500-9
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 208pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: M (Mature)

Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 13 cover image

Rated “M” for “Mature”

He is Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto, a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war, scrapping out a meager existence.  It is the early 20th century, and there is also a postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Japan's Hokkaido region.  Sugimoto stumbles upon the first “piece” of a map leading to a fortune in hidden gold belonging to the Ainu (an indigenous people of Japan and Russia).  Ruthless criminals and rogue Japanese soldiers are also hunting for the gold in the harsh northern wilderness.  It will take all Sugimoto's talents and the help of an immensely-skilled Ainu girl named Asirpa to survive, let alone find the gold.

As Golden Kamuy, Vol. 13 (Chapters 121 to 130) opens, Sugimoto, Yoshitake Shiraishi (the “Escape King”), Hyakunosuke Ogata, Genjiro Tanigaki, Kiroranke, and Cikapasi (the boy who tags along) are butt-ass naked... and are under fire!  Now, it will take Asirpa, Ryu the dog, and all these naked males' cunning to stay alive... and maybe find a new ally.

Finally, it is time to infiltrate Abashiri Prison where they plan to meet Noppera-Bo, the mysterious man who might be Asirpa father and who allegedly knows the secrets of the Ainu gold.  After a few reunions, this gang of 13:  Sugimoto, Shiraishi, Ogata, Tanigaki, Kiroranke, Inkarmat, Shinpachi Nagakura, Ienaga, Kantaro, Ushiyama, Toshizo Hijikata, and Cikapasi unites.  Are their new allies, Anji Toni and Kadokura, the right people to help them to break into a prison designed to be a trap?  And where is Lieutenant Tsurumi and his 7th Division, the other party that is also hunting gold?

[This volume includes bonus art.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Golden Kamuy manga has a narrative so large that it has to have a large cast of characters.  Creator Satoru Noda has populated this series with wonderful supporting characters, in addition to his leads, Sugimoto and Asirpa.

Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 13 is filled with explosive action and edge-of-your seat thrills from the first page to the last.  Vol. 13's theme of “hunting in the dark,” plays out over several scenes and sequences, and this volume is a reward to series readers.  John Werry's translation catches the flavor of the characters, and Noda's gorgeous art has an excellent pairing in Steve Dutro's lettering.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Westerns and of Japanese historical dramas will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Golden Kamuy.

10 out of 10

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